Cautionary tale on incoming generation of business leaders


Yes / No / MaybeBefore too long, people making corporate buying decisions are going to be millennials – and they have attitudes that veer away from those of their predecessors, particularly in the media area.

Take this observation made in a recent study of the group: “Trust is a major factor, and millennials don’t trust traditional media, advertising or brands.”
Sort of puts the onus on media companies to figure out how to deal with this crowd, does it not?

The study comes from The Forum, the research wing of the Business Marketing Association. Dr. Frank Mulhern of Northwestern University conducted the research.

“With 95 million millennials prepped to take over the American economy, companies have to pay attention to the impact this will have on how they approach and engage with this unique group of buyers,” said Dr. Mulhern. “Their plugged-in lifestyle differs dramatically from other generations, and so does the amount of trust they believe they can give to brands. B2B marketing strategies will have to adapt.”

Here are Mulhern’s key findings:

* Millennials believe businesses should help resolve social issues and not measure success strictly in financial terms

* Trust is a major factor, and millennials don’t trust traditional media, advertising or brands

* How to market “with” millennials rather than “to” this generation

* Specific tools and channels that B2B brands need to adopt in order to foster relationships with millennials

“Because of their relentless electronic research, millennials have different expectations from those of previous generations when it comes to making purchases and engaging in buying decisions,” said BMA Chairman Steve Liguori. “This will guide B2B marketers as they evolve their strategy and begin engaging this unique generation of influencers and decision makers.”